For the second consecutive year, the Saints start their season with three consecutive losses. New Orleans lost to Atlanta 45-32 Monday night.
The game started well as the Saints jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but the game turned when De'Vante Harris ran over returner Tommylee Lewis, causing a muffed punt and giving Atlanta the ball on the New Orleans 11-yard line.
Three pays later, the Falcons scored its first touchdown of the game to tie the score at 7.
New Orleans banged up defense couldn't slow down Atlanta for much of the game. The Falcons rushed for 217 yards. Devonta Freeman rushed for 152 yards and also had 52 yards receiving.
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan threw for 240 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked twice and did not turn the ball over.
Saints QB Drew Brees threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted once. Former LSU Tiger Deion Jones caught a tipped pass and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown.
New Orleans will look for its first win this Sunday at San Diego.
LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron promises changes to LSU’s offense. The Tigers rank dead last in the SEC in passing and 12th in the league in total offense. Orgeron says they want to spread the ball around and make the passing game more dynamic.
"I have a different passing game, we want to be more creative, find ways for the quarterback to get the ball down the field, throwing it," Orgeron said.
Orgeron replaces Les Miles, who was criticized for his antiquated offense that included poor clock management. Coach “O” says he doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes made in the past.
"We are going to work very hard on that practice, we are going to work very hard on clock management," Orgeron said. "I'll have someone in the press box that is specifically in charge of clock management and game management."
Orgeron will make his debut as interim head coach on Saturday night when the Tigers take on Missouri. He wants his team to feel strong on Saturday, so he’ll have them on the practice field less during the week.
"We'll play with energy, less time on the practice field, more time in the meeting room, hopefully we're fresh and hopefully you'll see some excitement on sideline, I know one guy who is excited."
Orgeron has suspended indefinitely defensive tackle Davon Godchaux. He was arrested early this morning on misdemeanor charges after he was also involved in what the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office is calling a tussle with his girlfriend.
Godchaux was charged with false imprisonment, domestic abuse battery/child endangerment. A 10-month old was in the room with the fighting couple.
Education leaders in Louisiana are looking at ways to improve public education, in compliance with a new federal law that goes into effect for the next school year. State Superintendent John White says the Every Student Succeeds Act is the first federal education law that’s been passed since 2001, and it requires states to outline a plan for improving education. He says he’s confident Louisiana can make great strides in education, as long as the students remain the focus of the discussions.
“We must not allow our debate to be distracted by the adult issues that for too long have characterized not just public education, but many realms of public policy in our state,” White said.
During Governor Bobby Jindal’s second term, White was involved in a very public spat with Jindal over Common Core academic standards.
White says Louisiana is making strides in education, like improving math and reading test scores among 4th graders and overall ACT scores. He says better preparing teachers while they are still in college could also have an impact in K-12 classrooms.
“Just as lawyers, doctors, and architects, our teachers should receive a full year residency in the classroom so that teaching can be treated as a white collar profession, just as those others are,” White said.
White says in the near future, they will draft the framework for a plan to improve education in Louisiana. He says the plan outline will be made available to the public.
“Our goal in issuing this draft framework will be to elicit questions, to promote dialogue, to ensure that every corner of our state has had a chance to speak on specific ideas,” White said.
Michelle Southern reporting.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva spoke with reporters along with interim Head Coach Ed Orgeron today. He said making the decision to terminate Les Miles was not an easy one to make, but changes within the program had to take place.
"A change is necessary to give the players the best opportunity to succeed," said Alleva. "And at the end of the day, it's all about the players. And their experience and where they're going in their lives."
Alleva said Miles is loved by his players because he cares about them as people and he did a great job developing them into fine young men. Alleva said he felt that, at this time, Coach O is the right man to take over the program.
"His enthusiasm is contagious," said Alleva. "He has outstanding leadership characteristics, and I still believe this team has great things ahead of it."
Miles was criticized for not being able to produce an effective offensive line. In his introduction to LSU, Orgeron said there will be changes under his leadership.
"You can expect a new coaching staff and a new style of play on offense," said Orgeron.
Former LSU football coach Les Miles said he’s feeling good one day after his firing. Miles was a guest this morning on the “Dan Patrick Show on DirecTV’s Audience.” Miles says he was told of his firing during a face-to-face meeting with Athletic Director Joe Alleva and the Tigers former head man said he didn’t fight the decision.
"I'm for the Tigers, and anything that they see that makes the Tigers better then I'm for it," said Miles.
Miles was the head coach at LSU for 11-plus seasons. He won 77-percent of his games, including a BCS National Championship and two SEC titles. The mad hatter says he’s fortunate to have the opportunity to coach the Tigers.
"Are you kidding me? I have had a great run at LSU and I have enjoyed myself the entire time," said Miles.
This Saturday LSU will host Missouri for homecoming. Miles says he may go to Tallahassee to see Florida State play North Carolina. His son, Manny, is a walk-on quarterback for the Tar Heels. During the nearly 10-minute interview, Miles indicated he would like to coach again.
"I would have a difficult time not being involved in the game and not being a coach," said Miles.
A new poll shows it’s a tight race for the open US Senate seat in Louisiana. John Couvillon, with JMC Analytics and Polling, says five candidates have an opportunity to make the runoff as there’s been movement since he surveyed this race in July.
“John Kennedy has dropped quite a bit in the poll, and the other candidates Foster Campbell and Charles Boustany have stayed relatively constant, although they currently are dominating the field,” Couvillon said.
The poll paid for by Congressman John Fleming’s campaign shows Congressman Charles Boustany and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell are tied for the lead at 15%, and Fleming and New Orleans attorney Caroline Fayard are just behind them at third and fourth place respectively. Couvillon says former front runner John Kennedy’s numbers have dropped 7 percentage points to 11%.
“The challenge that Kennedy has right now is the perception of overconfidence, compounded by the fact that he has not yet been on TV or made appearances and so forth,” Couvillon said.
Couvillon says the poll also found that 25% of voters are still undecided, which he says is not surprising.
“Nothing abnormal about that because this is a late breaking race in a crowded field, and obviously those numbers are going to start to ratchet down,” Couvillon said.
Presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, will duke it out tonight in their first debate. The debate will air from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Central Time. ULM Political Science Professor Dr. Joshua Stockley expects viewers will see the combination of information and candidate sparring.
He says these are two individuals who recognize the clock is ticking on the campaign and the polls are tight.
“I would expect both candidates to attempt to make the case in some sort of policy fashion as to what their presidency would mean for Americans.”
Stockley says both Trump and Clinton will take shots at each other in an attempt to demonstrate to Americans how the other candidate is unfit.
“I would expect a lot of attention to be given to their plans for achieving prosperity, simultaneously, what are their plans for securing this country.”
Stockley says the candidates will likely touch on the recent shootings around the country and the protests that are sparking. He says African Americans and the law enforcement community have some questions to be answered.
“The future president of the United States needs to have a plan to address the issues that certain segments of our population are having with our law enforcement community.”
After 114 wins, a BCS National Championship and two SEC championships, Les Miles is no longer the head coach at LSU. Miles, along with LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were let go, after a bad loss to Auburn to drop their record to 2-2.
Safety Jamal Adams says Miles spoke with the team before he left.
"That man is so passionate about LSU. He's been here for 12 years, he recruited me," said Adams. "I think that he was very emotional as far as letting go."
Senior wide receiver Travin Dural of Breaux Bridge says he showed up to a 5:00 meeting and never thought he would be told that Miles was let go.
"I'm still surprised. I wasn't expecting this at all," said Dural. "Coach Miles is a great coach and he's done a lot of great things for this program."
South LaFourche High School and Northwestern State grad, Ed Orgeron, takes over as the interim head coach. He was the Tigers defensive line coach and a former head coach at Ole Miss and interim head coach at USC. Dural looks forward to what Coach “O” can bring to the team.
"He's very energetic and has a lot of energy. He's always ready to go," said Dural. "He knows a lot about football, he's been in this position before so I'm expecting him to have some success."
Monday is the deadline for Livingston parish pet owners to claim pets that were lost in the flood, and then shelters will start adopting them out. Executive Director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, Jeff Dorson, says they have been sheltering over 500 pets from the Livingston parish area since the flood, but they could only hold them for 45 days.
“If people haven’t reclaimed their animals by now, we’re going to allow the public to adopt them out. So that was a grace period we established with our rescue partners,” Dorson said.
Dorson says people who lost a pet should check the Livingston Reuniting Pets Facebook page or contact the Humane Society of Louisiana. He says adoption counselors can help people find their lost pets.
“Try and have a picture of your pet, any kind of medical records, anything to help us determine proper ownership. That would go a long way,” Dorson said.
Dorson says pets are being sheltered around Louisiana and in other states, so finding a pet after this deadline will be a challenge. He says there is a local shelter people can visit if they want to adopt a pet that was displaced during the flood.
“We have a wonderful disaster center for pets in Amite. It’s in week number three now. We have about 30 dogs,” Dorson said.
Tonight's Saints-Falcons game marks the 10th anniversary of the Mercedes Benz Superdome reopening after Hurricane Katrina. Former Governor Kathleen Blanco was instrumental in prioritizing the repair of the football stadium.
Blanco says the building's roof was badly damaged and it was a symbol of despair for New Orleans. The former governor says despite the criticism, she knew they could turn the dome back into a symbol of victory.
“Every square inch of it, the ceiling, the seating, the walls, every square inch of it was now covered with mold and mildew and it was really, really a nasty place.”
Blanco says repairing the stadium in nine months rather than the predicted 2 years was a huge endeavor. She says Saints owner Tom Benson promised if they could open the Superdome before the 2006 season, he wouldn’t move the Saints.
“And he said the NFL did not want to be seen as leaving one of its cities in its most dire moment.”
Blanco faced criticism as many wondered why fix the Superdome when thousands needed help. The former governor says the money could only go into repairs of the building and they received funds from the NFL and FEMA. She says in the end, she received many public apologies.
“But I knew as governor, it was more than just putting a football stadium back together. It was highly symbolic. You know, people here love the Saints whether they’re winning or losing.”
By Jeff Palermo
Time ran out on the LSU Tigers on Saturday night in their loss to Auburn and time has also run out on head football coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Athletic Director Joe Alleva has made the decision to fire Miles and Cameron and name defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron interim head coach.
“Decisions like this are never easy ones to make,” Alleva said. “Coach Miles has done a tremendous job here and he’s been a great ambassador for our University, which makes this even more difficult.
“However, it’s apparent in evaluating the program through the first month of the season that a change has to be made. Our commitment to excellence and competing at the highest level is unwavering, and our goals for the remainder of this season haven’t changed. We have an obligation to our student-athletes to put them in the best position to have success on the football field each week and we have great confidence that coach Orgeron will do just that.”
After nearly getting fired last November, the LSU football team is 2-2 for the first time since 2001. Once again, the Tigers offense is to blame for the team not reaching its expectations. The pass offense ranks 119th in the country and 111th in total offense.
The football program has been on a decline since losing to Alabama in the BCS National Championship game in January 2012. The Tigers have lost five straight to Alabama and the situation has tailspun lately as the Tigers have lost four of their last five SEC games.
Miles arrived at LSU in 2005 from Oklahoma State and finishes with a record of 114-34. No other program in the SEC has more wins during that time.
His teams were known for its dramatic wins. The Tigers had 24 fourth quarter/overtime comeback wins since 2005.
Miles leaves LSU as the second winningest coach in school history. Only the late Charlie McClendon had more, as he notched 137 wins in 18 years.
Orgeron will assume head coaching duties. He's been on LSU's staff since 2015, but has been a lifelong LSU fan. As a high school football player, he starred at South LaFourche High School and played college football at Northwestern State.
Orgeron was the head coach at Ole Miss from 2005-2007, but only won 10 games. Oregeron was also an interim head coach at USC in 2013.
Tiger Rag Magazine has learned former LSU assistant under Nick Saban, Pete Jenkins, has been brought in to coach the defensive line. Tight ends coach Steve Ensminger has been promoted to interim offensive coordinator.
Over a month after the historic flooding in south Louisiana, many flood victims are still struggling to recover. Congressman Garret Graves of Baton Rouge has introduced a bill to help future disaster victims get assistance in a timely manner. He says the biggest complaint he’s heard is that it’s taking too long to get money from flood insurance claims.
“Under Louisiana state law, companies generally have 30 days to make decisions. Yet that law doesn’t apply to the national flood insurance program because it’s a federal program,” Graves said.
Graves’ bill would require the national flood insurance program to make determinations within 30 days of the claim being filed. He says people need this assistance now, and he wants to push this bill through in an expedited process.
“We’re going to try and not go through the regular process and attach this to a larger package that’s moving through the Congress,” Graves said.
Graves says schools, police and fire departments, and drainage systems are all funded by property taxes. He says if people can’t get their homes repaired quickly, it will cause major problems for the entire community because there will be less tax revenue coming in.
“If the value of these homes is cut in half or less because their gutted and flooded, that’s going to end up resulting in much greater problems in our community in terms of these critical public services,” Graves said.
By Jeff Palermo
What appeared to be a last-second victory for the LSU Tigers, turned out to be a crushing 18-13 defeat to Auburn. Danny Etling threw a game-winning touchdown pass, but after it was reviewed by the instant replay judge, it was determined the Tigers didn't get the snap off before the clock struck triple zero.
How it happened: Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson tied a school-record with six field goals and LSU's offense could only mount two decent offensive drives. LSU scored the lone touchdown on a four-yard pass from Danny Etling to tight end Foster Moreau. The other good drive was the final one. The Tigers went 60 yards on 13 plays, but time ran out before they could finish the game winning drive.
LSU's Offense: LSU's passing game was non-existent for most of the game. There were a variety of reasons why, Etling missed some throws, dropped passes and bad protection. You can throw play calling into it as well, as the Tigers were conservative.
Leonard Fournette rushed for 101 yards, but negative plays really hurt LSU. Auburn had eight tackles for a loss and LSU was also penalized five times. Etling also had a crucial fumble in Auburn territory in the 4th quarter. LSU has yet to score any points in the 4th quarter this season.
LSU's Defense: The Tigers gave up 388 total yards, 234 through the air. The Bayou Bengals had trouble getting off the field, as Auburn was 8-of-19 on 3rd down conversions. But it's really hard to blame this loss on the defense.
Jamal Adams, Duke Riley and Kendell Beckwith all had double digits in tackles. Arden Key was credited with a 1.5 sacks and now has 6.5 for the season. Key also had three quarterback hurries.
The defense also had an impressive goal line stand late in the 1st half.
Special Teams: Kicker Colby Delahoussaye was 2-of-3 on field goals. He missed a 51-yarder, but connected from 29 and 25. Punter Josh Growden averaged 37 yards on five punts. They were not pretty punts, but Auburn didn't have any returns.
What it means: The Tigers are 2-2 and hopes of playing in the college football playoffs are dashed. LSU is still alive for an SEC West title, but they'll need to run the table and that's unlikely, considering how poorly the offense has played on the road. LSU still has road trips to Florida and Texas A&M left, plus tough home games against Alabama, Ole Miss and Arkansas.
The bigger picture is that the seat Les Miles is sitting on, continues to get hotter. This team was expected to be a national title contender and LSU has already been removed from discussion in September.
Also, it seems like the lucky breaks that helped Miles win around 10 games a year, are no longer happening for the "Mad Hatter." Somewhere, that 2010 Tennessee team that LSU beat in lucky fashion at the end of the game is laughing.
LSU is also 2-2 for the first time since 2001.
Up next: Missouri makes its first ever visit to Tiger Stadium on October 1st for 6:30 PM kick-off. Missouri beat the pants off of Delaware State 79-0. For the season, the SEC East Tigers are 2-2.
A new book about the murders of prostitutes in Jefferson Davis parish is surrounded by controversy. Murder in the Bayou by Ethan Brown documents the author’s investigation into the murders of 8 prostitutes between 2005 and 2009. The book alleges that Congressman Charles Boustany may have been involved with the women. Brown, who appeared on the Jim Engster Show, says Boustany’s response to the accusation is included in the book.
"I went to this office, and this is reported in the book in May of this year with what is reported in the book."
The book claims that a staffer at Boustany’s office also worked at the hotel where these women would perform the services. Brown says there is no question that staffer worked at the Boudreaux Inn.
"Congressman Boustany acknowledged that the gentleman worked for him for a number of years. According to open government sites he was a staffer."
Brown says a lot of independent media outlets have been reporting the claims against the congressman. He says in all the stories he’s seen, reporters have noted that they have not been able to independently verify the allegations.
"But I know first hand from speaking to a lot of these reporters that little to no effort has been made."
Livingston Parish Schools have received more than $100,000 in donations, grants and gifts to assist teachers, staff and students with flood recovery efforts. Superintendent Rick Wentzel says the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and their surrounding communities stepped up in a huge way.
"$42,000 in cash. $8,600 in gift cards and 30 pallets of student and teacher supplies." said Wentzel.
Taylor Swift has donated $50,000 to the district.
“I know that many in our community are big fans of Taylor Swift’s music. I’m certain this contribution will win over more fans for her – and not just for her music, but for her kindness,” Wentzel said.
A state panel has made surprising discoveries about student discipline in Louisiana. The Advisory Council on Student Behavior found that over a thousand kindergartners were suspended during the last school year. New Orleans attorney and chairwoman of the council, Jennifer Coco, says they want to find better ways to discipline students than kicking them out of class.
“We want to better understand how we can support them and to keep them in class, while also making sure that our schools are safe and other students feel safe,” Coco said.
The council found that nearly 8-thousand students between pre-kindergarten and third grade received out of school suspensions during the 2015-16 school year. Coco says the primary reasons students are getting suspended is being disrespectful or disobedient. But she doesn’t think that kicking a child out of school will teach them to be more respectful.
“Why is it that when a 6-year-old is doing something that’s considered disrespectful that the solution is to have them stay out of school for a day, and just wondering practically what’s gained by that,” Coco said.
Coco says the 24-member council is required to meet three times a year and discuss their findings. She says they will put together an annual report and present it to the education committees in the legislature and BESE.
“Letting them know and summarizing our findings and recommendations for what we’ve discussed that year and what we think some solutions might be,” Coco said.
Hunters for the Hungry is hosting their annual “Clean out your Freezer Day” to benefit food banks throughout Louisiana. On Sunday, September 25th from 1 to 4 p.m., hunters with leftover meat are encouraged to donate before they stock up again during hunting season.
HFH Executive Director Jimmy Anthony says the program started 25 years ago when a group of hunters thought it was a shame to waste all of last year’s frozen game.
“It was such a big hit that they wanted to continue it, more and more people found out about it and started doing the same thing. So it gives hunters a chance to clean out their freezer, get rid of their older meat and make room for their new meat.”
The donations will be directly distributed to nearly 400 agencies across Louisiana. Anthony says typically the Baton Rouge Food Bank stores all of the meat but there is no room this year after the flooding so a New Orleans Food Bank will be collecting the food. He says they will also be collecting canned goods.
“We’re going to collect nonperishables. All of those nonperishable can goods will go to the Baton Rouge Food Bank.”
H-F-H collected more than 230,000 pounds of fish, game, and other meats in years past. Anthony says there are 12 collection sites and to find one in your area visit hunters4hungrylouisiana.org. He says they are not collecting any meat over a year old.
“Get any meat, protein frozen from your freezer, take it to one of our collection sites. Make sure that the package is labeled, as to what it is, and dated.”
A New Orleans activist group is planning a protest tomorrow in Jackson Square when they say they will take down the statue of Andrew Jackson. Malcom Suber is a member of Take Em Down NOLA, a group that seeks to remove confederate monuments from the city. He says they want to remove the statue of Jackson and rename the area Freedom Square.
“He is a representative of white supremacy and does not deserve to be given such an exalted place in our city,” Suber said.
Suber says the protest will begin at 1pm, and they expect hundreds of people to come. City officials say they support peaceful protests, but vandalism of public property is a crime. But he says they see this as an issue of civil rights.
“We have a right to protest the placement of this statue in a public spot that is offensive to the majority of our people in this city,” Suber said.
Suber says they feel they are within their rights because the city council voted to remove confederate statues in New Orleans. He says their position has always been to remove any monuments that represent white supremacy.
“If there’s any statue that is iconic to the city of New Orleans, it’s the Andrew Jackson statue, and so if we take that one down, surely the others can come down,” Suber said.
NOPD says they will have extra officers and barricades on hand in preparation for the protest.
By Jeff Palermo
Two teams with coaches on the hot seat meet on the Plains on Saturday, as 18th ranked LSU visits Auburn. The Fighting Tigers are 2-1, 1-0 in the SEC and a loss in this game will again raise the question whether the program is heading in the right direction.
Many in Auburn already believe their program is on the decline. Gus Malzahn led the War Eagles to the BCS Championship game in 2013, but heading into Saturday's game they've lost seven straight games at home against Power 5 teams. Auburn is 3-12 against Power 5 teams overall in the last 15 games.
Auburn has struggled to put points on the board this season. Their offense has been void of big plays. Quarterback Sean White has thrown just one interception, but he's thrown for only 510 yards in three games. John Franklin III could see playing time under center as well. He completed four passes for 37 yards last week.
Auburn leads the SEC in rushing, averaging 262 yards a game. They rushed for 462 yards against Arkansas State in Week 2. Kenyon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway are leading the way on the ground. Johnson has rushed for 278 yards and four touchdowns, while Pettway is averaging nearly 8 yards a carry
LSU running back Leonard Fournette rushed for a career-high 228 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 win over Auburn last year. Auburn's defense goes into this game committed to slowing down Fournette.
On paper, it looks like LSU should have success rushing the passer. Auburn has allowed nine sacks in three games, while the Tigers have sacked the opposing quarterback on 11 occasions.
If it's a close game, Auburn has an outstanding field goal kicker. Junior Daniel Carlson is a Lou Groza Finalist and had has made 83% of his kicks in his career and he's converted 24 of his last 25 field goal attempts.
LSU has struggled to score points at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The last time they scored more than 20 in this venue was 2008, when Jarrett Lee sparked the Bayou Bengals to a 26-21 victory. 1994 was the previous time they put more than 20 on the board. That occurred in a 30-26 loss.
I'm expecting another tight game on Saturday, but LSU somehow gets it done..winning 21-17.
The Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report ranks Louisiana’s roadways 34th in the nation for overall performance, up 6 spots from the previous year. Louisiana ranked poorly in the areas of fatality rate and urban interstate pavement condition. DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson says the state has announced two different interstate widening projects that should lead to safer and smoother traveling on I-10 in the Lafayette and Baton Rouge areas.
“Some of those specific performance ratings should increase with these onetime projects. The overall state ranking, I don’t expect that it will most based on these investments,” Wilson said.
The Bayou State came in 40th for the number of deficient bridges in the state. Wilson admits the state is not spending enough to keep up with the maintenance of our bridges.
“We’ve got a significant number of bridges in our system that are old and have extended or have lived beyond their useful life in terms of their functionality and utility as a bridge,” Wilson said.
Wilson says there’s almost a $13 billion backlog in transportation projects, and it will take more consistent funding resources in order to improve Louisiana’s overall ranking.
“I will spend every onetime dollar that we can compete for, but what we need is a steady infusion of dollars on an annual basis to keep up with the deferred maintenance and to build the projects we need,” Wilson said.
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